Black Resistance As An Act of Love…

“We represent historical forces and it is really these forces that are coalescing and moving toward each other. And it is not a fraud, forced out of desperation. We live in a disoriented, deranged social structure, and we have transcended its barriers in our own ways and have stepped psychologically outside it madness and repressions. It is lonely out here. We recognize each other. And, having recognized each other, is it any wonder that our souls hold hands and cling together even while our minds equivocate, hesitate, vacillate, and tremble?
Peace. Don’t panic, and don’t wake up.
Dream on. I am
Yours,
Eldridge”
Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice

Written in 1968, a good chunk of this book could have been written this year. There’s also a lot of nonsense in it. To me, the most remarkable part is the correspondence between Cleaver and his lawyer, Beverly Axelrod. It’s not surprising that their relationship fell apart, mostly due to politics and greed. What is notable in this passage is how their passion grew out of their mutual recognition of each other’s humanity.

This is the core of all resistance; we see our own humanity as worth fighting for, and demand others see that worth. When the acknowledgment comes, no matter where it comes from, it resonates in our souls and lights fires…

Siege in Boston…


“The city was thrown into a frenzy of activity a few days after the Faneuil Hall meeting, when two slave-catchers arrived from Georgia, claiming the Crafts. The black community and the vigilance community promptly marshaled their forces. Ellen was taken to the safety of Dr. Henry Bowditch’s home in Brookline and a week later was transferred to the Reverend Theodore Parker’s. William, meanwhile, armed and barricaded himself in his shop while friends stood watch. “No man could approach within 100 yards of Craft’s shop,” one reporter observed, “without being seen by a hundred eyes, and a signal would call a powerful body at a moment’s warning.” As tension mounted and it appeared the slave catchers were determined to test these defences William was taken to Lewis Hayden’s, where kegs of gunpowder were placed in the basement in anticipation of an attack. According to an observer, black homes on Belknap and Cambridge streets, the main thoroughfares, were fortified and the occupants well armed with guns, swords, and knives: “The colored population are really roused in this matter and are making their houses like barricades.” R.J.M. Blackett, Beating Against the Barriers

Too often, we forget that Black resistance existed long before the Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s. This passage describes the events in Boston circa Oct, 1850, involving Ellen and William Craft, who escaped enslavement in Georgia, only to be followed by politics (Fugitive Slave Act of 1850) and vengeful slavers.

Black Rebellion and Trickster Gods…

Adinkra symbol, Ananse ntontan, or the Spider Web. It is a symbol of wisdom and creativity. Often used to represent the trickster god Anansi. Br’er Rabbit is rooted in this West African folktale tradition.

“I know that I am playing with fire, and I feel the thrill which accompanies that most fascinating pastime; and, back of it all, I think I find a sort of savage and diabolical desire to gather up all the little tragedies of my life, and turn them into a practical joke on society.” James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

This is my favorite form of rebellion…the trickster rebel…”I’ll use your sickness against you, and mock you with it…”

more reasons for self publishing…

i wouldn’t sneeze at the offer of a $50k advance…but that would be a mighty large pay cut…even for me…

Conveying news of latest rejection, agent mentions we’ll be lucky to get $50,000; explains, “Publishers aren’t overpaying anymore. They know they’ll just break even if they pay $50,000 and sell 20,000 copies in hardcover, which few books ever do.”

I realize if I’m “overpaid” I’ll earn $50,000 minus $7,500 agent commission. That’s $42,500 for three years’ work.

either way, this is a pretty devastating look at how authors get treated by the publishing business…and just another piece of evidence as to why i think self-publishing is a better option…

the new micro-patronage…pt 2…

Forget thinking you are going to make any real money from record sales,” wrote Reznor on his message board. “Make your record cheaply (but great) and GIVE IT AWAY [as DRM-free MP3s] … Collect people’s e-mail info in exchange (which means having the infrastructure to do so) and start building your database of potential customers. Then, offer a variety of premium packages for sale and make them limited editions / scarce goods.”

It’s a play straight out of Anderson’s playbook (and, in fact, Anderson cites Nine Inch Nails as an example of a business that understands “Free”).

To put it into practice, Reznor advises that bands distribute through Amazon, TopSpin or Tunecore; set up a simple, Flash-free site outside of MySpace (which he says is “dying and reads as cheap / generic”); never abuse their mailing list; use free tools from Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube and SoundCloud; and give people a reason to keep coming back to their site (Reznor’s own forums are an example of this strategy).

However, Reznor says the strategy of giving away music in return for e-mail addresses, then marketing pricey box sets and other premium goods to those e-mail addresses only makes sense if a band wants to keep all its money and stay in control of its image.“(click for full article)

this can work for printed media too…